Sophie Jaquillard's origins and ancestry
by Judy and Conrad Terrill, 5 May 2017
In April of 2015 we heard from Kathleen Rochford Kaiser, who had found our web site and was wondering if we could verify that Sophie’s mother was Elisabeth Gruber. We knew nothing at all of Sophie’s parentage, but Kathleen put us in contact with her cousin, Michael Bruce Edwards, who in turn pointed us to Philip Hathaway Koether. Philip had determined the parentage of Sophie Jaquillard starting from an entry in the indices to the records of the “Mulberry Street” Evangelical Reformed Lutheran Church (1847-1914), of Newark, NJ, a set of indices compiled by genealogists Tom and Kathryn Peters. Philip used the 1870 marriage record for Caroline Jaquillard and John Tauwalt, and contacted Tom Peters who provided additional information, including the names of Caroline’s parents, “Theobald Jaquillard and his lawfully wed wife, Magdalena now married to Hensler.” Another way of learning this from the same set of indices is from the index entry for the 1849 baptism record for Karoline Jaquillard, which gives her parents’ names as Theobald Jaquillard and Magdalena Ries.
What we knew before this was that Sophie’s brother’s name was David Jaquillard, and now we know that his actual name was “Theobald,” and that David was his “American name.” It is possible (but not easy) to search through Strasbourg-area civil registration records for a Theobald Jaquillard born about 1817 with a sister Sophie born about 1828. Philip did it, and we (Conrad and Judy) almost did it in 2010, except that we were looking for a Sophie born about 1828 with a brother David born about 1817, and could not find one. We learned of the Jaquillards from Struth, though.
Bas-Rhin records can now be searched online, on the Archives, Départementales du Bas-Rhin, web site. Ecclesiastical parish records are available for the period before the French Revolution (1789 to 1799) and civil records are available for the period during and after, with some overlap. From these it is possible to find birth records for Thibaud Jaquillard, born 29 Feb. 1816 in Struth, son of Michel and Elisabeth (Gruber) Jaquillard, and for sister Sophie, born 22 June 1827. The Hauch Family Bible gives 20 June 1828 as a birth date for Sophie. It’s not unusual for such a birth date to be off by a year, but the extra two days is a little unusual. But it could be that 20 June is correct and that 22 June is not. We’ve heard that this sometimes happened when a family was avoiding payment of a penalty for registering late, since births had to be registered within so many days. Anyway, we (and Philip) firmly believe that we have the right family.
From here it is possible to trace the branches of the ancestry of Sophie Jaquillard back a number of generations, since the families stayed to a large degree in the same region.
Click here to view our Sophie Jaquillard ancestral tree (PDF, 19 KB)
On the second page you can find a list of the records upon which the tree is based, giving you the information you would need to find the actual records on the Département du Bas-Rhin web site. (Some of them are not easy to read!)
Michel and Elisabeth (Gruber) Jaquillard lived in a hamlet called Hansmannshoff, where at least two generations of Jaquillard families had already been living. In an article in the 2008 annual publication of the Société d’Histoire de l’Alsace Bossue (SHAB) Rudolphe Brodt invites the readers to discover the rural hamlet Hannsmannhof, “Ancien foyer des Jacquillard” (former home of the Jacquillard). The hamlet can still be found via Google Earth, on Hansmannshoff Road about three quarters of a mile northeast of Struth, consisting of less than a dozen houses and barns. Nearby towns which are mentioned in the tree record list can be found on this map of the area around Struth. Hinsbourg, Tieffenbach, Waldhambach, Diemeringen and Ratzwiller are some of the places mentioned. Struth lies about thirty miles northwest of Strasbourg.
Michel’s paternal grandfather, Peter/Pierre Jaquillard, was the “stabhalter” of Struth in the early/mid 1700’s. Stabhalter (literally ‘rod-holder’) was a combined judicial/adminstrative position equivalent to head of the town council, head of the court, and notary, a position probably second in importance to the mayor. In ancient times, before deeds were recorded on paper, the stabhalter held a rod and had the two parties involved in a transaction consummate the deal by putting their hands on the ‘Stab’. [Wikipedia "stabhalter"]
Here’s the family of Michel and Christine Elisabeth (Gruber) Jaquillard:
Michel Jaquillard, b. 19 Jan. 1791, son of Michel and Elisabeth (Noesser) Jaquillard, of Struth &
Christine Elisabeth Gruber, b. 2 Mar. 1793, daughter of Pierre and Christine Elisabeth (Muegel) Gruber, of Ratzwiller,
m. 15 Dec. 1812, Ratzwiller
Children: (all born in Struth)
1. Elisabeth, b. 28 Mar. 1814
2. Thibaud, b. 29 Feb. 1816 (AKA David, in America)
3. Magdaleine, b. 5 Apr. 1818
4. Chretien, b. 27 May 1820
5. Marguerite, b. 5 Jul. 1823
6. Pierre, b. 13 Jun. 1825
7. Sophie, b. 22 Jun. 1827 (m. William Hauch)
8. Andre, b. 30 Nov. 1830
9. Marguerithe, b. 1 Jul. 1833
10. Catherine, b. 19 Dec. 1836; d. 30 Nov. 1837, Struth
Michel was in America when his daughter Catherine died, in November of 1837. It’s likely that Thibaud went with him, since Thibaud was naturalized as a U.S. citizen on 8 Nov. 1842 at the Court of Common Pleas for the City and County of New York. At this time a person could not become a U.S. citizen until he had resided in the U.S. for five years, so Thibaud must have been in the U.S. since November of 1837, at least. And if he came with his father then they could not have come before March of 1836, since Catherine was born in December of 1836. Thibaud was twenty-one years old in 1837. We know that Thibaud (David) had a “hole-in-the-wall” wine bar in New York City at around this time, so perhaps Michel’s (and Thibaud’s) purpose in coming to America was to market Alsatian wine for the benefit of parties back home. Or perhaps Michel’s purpose was to help set up Thibaud in this business.
In December of 2016 we heard from Meg Thomann, another desendant of William and Sophie (Jaquillard) Hauch, that she has been told via stories passed down in the family that Wilhelm and Sophie fell in love in Alsace, but could not marry there because Wilhelm was Catholic and Sophie was Protestant, so they came to America to be married. According to the 1900 U.S. Census, William immigrated in 1844, and Sophie in 1842, so perhaps William had business to wrap up before departing Europe. Perhaps he was finishing up at the University of Vienna. He turned twenty-one in 1844. Considering that they came to New York City, it seems likely that Thibaud/David was involved in their decision to come to America.